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Cancun climate conference makes progress on carbon capture and storage deal.

ONE of the subsidiary bodies negotiating groups within the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun has finalised language that takes carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS) to the brink of being included in the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

While delegates from 194 countries continued to negotiate the extent of emissions reductions targets after the Kyoto Protocol's compliance period concludes in 2012, the inclusion of CCS in the CDM, the main mechanism that awards greenhouse emissions credits for investments in developing countries, moved forward. If--as anticipated--it was approved by minister-level delegates by the end of the conference, it would allow power generators to earn emissions credits for storage projects.

"If approved, it would probably be the most important development imaginable for traditional energy producers within the climate change process," Lex de Jonge, chair of the Clean Development Mechanism executive board told the Petroleum Review. The use of then-new CCS technologies in the CDM was first proposed in 2005, but until now, the language never made it beyond the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Subsidiary Body for Implementation. That finally happened in Cancun, leaving it one vote away from approval.

Petroleum and energy industry officials in Cancun said they applauded the progress on the CCS issue but would take a wait-and-see attitude until the measure is officially passed. Ministers were to consider the measure during the high-level segment of the talks on December 7-9, but United Nations officials added the actual decision could also be pushed back to early 2011.

Meanwhile, agreement on future the emissions reduction targets will surely wait until 2011, insiders say, with a decision expected no earlier than next year's end-of-the-year summit in South Africa.

At Cancun, the oil industry was targeted by North American indigenous groups calling on the US and Canada to abandon support for oil-sands projects. They claimed Canada's backing of oil sands projects in Alberta and American oil dependence help explain why both countries still resist tighter emissions standards.
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Author:Lyman, Eric J.
Publication:International News
Article Type:Conference notes
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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